1. Just what is this thing called “falconry?”
In short, falconry is taking wild quarry in its habitat with a trained bird of prey. And it is called “falconry” whether you use a falcon, hawk, owl or eagle. For over 4,000 years humans have partnered with a raptor to take game.
2. What does Georgia Mountain Falconry offer in regards to this thing called falconry?
We offer various experiences for the general public to get an up close and personal contact with these majestic birds of prey. Some, should they so choose, will handle the birds and call them to the glove! Primarily though, each person present will get to witness UP CLOSE what happens in the wild.
3. Couldn’t I just contact one of the two Georgia falconry clubs and do all this on my own?
Yes, that is an option. You can take your time, attend some club events, get to know some falconers and get invited to go hawking with some members. As a former director with the Georgia Falconry Association for 12 years, I can tell you that it can be done that way. The other GA club (the Georgia Game Hawkers) also is a possibility. The club process can take time. Or, you can schedule a falconry experience with us and find out very quickly if this sport is right for you.
4. How does a “falconry experience” work exactly?
That would depend on your preference of half day or full day. For example, on the half day package we would meet you for breakfast (or lunch), give you a brief explanation of what to expect, then head to the woods to watch the hawk pursue his prey. *If you prefer, we also offer the “Raptor Encounter” which usually occurs during the spring & summer. Therefore, since we cannot hunt we provide an unprecedented up close & personal view of the raptors. (This could also include handling a raptor & calling one to the glove).
5. Why should I enroll in the Apprentice Academy?
If you have done a little homework already, you are aware that every falconer in the U.S. is required to pass a written test as part of procedure to obtain his/her license. The GA DNR will send you a list of books to acquire for your preparation for the test. I can tell you that many of the texts are hard to come by. We can’t promise that you will pass the test after completing our little weekend academy, but since I was part of a committee of only 5 falconers in our state who restructured the test recently, I can tell you that nowhere else will get you the information that we can provide.
7. Besides the Falconry Academy, what other forms of education do you offer?
As a teacher/coach for 40 years I have a special affinity for students. We offer programs where we will tailor the presentation to meet the needs of the group. But, schools are only a small segment of our audience. We do booths at fairs & festivals, corporate events, civic clubs, churches, scouts, summer camps etc. We can bring the birds and/or fly them for your event.
We are pleased and honored to offer some art, products and services that are associated with the art of this ancient sport called falconry. Artist and Illustrator Kandy Phillips has some of the best works you will see of various raptors and their falconer partners. Perhaps, you are looking for a Buzzard Mountain Hawking Stick (or hiking staff). We have uniquely handcrafted each stick with exotic leather & other materials to make them very special for work or display.
And last but not least, our partner in this company, Damon Lusky, is a premier knife maker who not only makes knives but is a metal artist as well – www.Alfa-Knife.com